|Type of site||Torrent index, magnet links provider|
|Alexa rank||1,152 (April 2014[update])|
EZTV is the name of a TV torrent distribution group founded in May 2005 as a response to the forced disappearance of TVTorrents.tv and btefnet via lawsuit. The group was founded by a loose coalition of volunteers and holds no formal ties to its predecessors.
In the aftermath of the takedown of TVT and btefnet, the BitTorrent community felt a need for a site that moderated its content. The two groups were known to never provide any fake links, a problem that used to be quite prevalent on public bittorrent sites prior to improvements in community-powered filtering in recent years. A group of volunteers gathered in the IRC channel #EZTV on the EFnet IRC network to create a TV torrent group from scratch in order to fill this void in the public bittorrent scene.
The idea behind EZTV was to create a group that would pick up where its two predecessors left off while avoiding what they considered the "weak spots" that had brought them down. This meant that EZTV should never host its own torrent files, its leadership structure should be dynamic and opaque to avoid presenting any obvious target for litigation, and the group should not host or run its own tracker.
In addition, it was decided that EZTV should be a purely non-profit group by never asking for money of any kind from its users and to never have advertisements to avoid "profiting from piracy" litigation. This means that EZTV is run entirely on a volunteer basis. This clean, no-ads profile of EZTV has made the site a popular destination for the public torrent scene.
During its first years of operation, EZTV hosted its site under the domain name eztvefnet.org. However, in October 2007 that domain began redirecting to a Google query for "eztv". Citing "administrative issues", EZTV had lost control over that domain and now redirected its users to the new domain name of eztv.it – which it has held since.
In April 2008 the old domain name was parked and taken over by a different site.
One notable exception to this no-fakes mechanic is the April Fool's Day joke played in 2008, where a release was posted on EZTV's website purporting to be a DVD screener pre-air release of an episode of the TV-show Lost. This episode was, in fact, an episode of Flavor of Love with an edit at the beginning saying "April Fool's".
A year after the Lost pre-air incident, the group replaced their site with a service dedicated to sports related shows – EZSports. In the aftermath of this prank, many users actually wanted the group to let the EZSports site stay online and be provided as a parallel service to the regular EZTV. The group was initially positive to the idea, but a lack of volunteers to maintain the site stopped it in its tracks.
In 2012 the group once again pulled an April Fool's joke on the community. This time they renamed their releases with the extension .rm (RealMedia) and posted an announcement on the site explaining they had changed the format of their releases in response to "all the comments people have been leaving on our forums" after the Scene changed the encoding of their releases in the weeks prior to the prank.
On 1 April 2014, users were greeted with what appeared to be a new design mimicking Google's homepage. The group explained in a press release reported on TorrentFreak that the new interface was part of a strategy to combat copyright infingement. They said that they had "noticed how little trouble Google has had monetizing links to potentially infringing content." They had been forced to change their business model by the sheer volume of takedown notices they were receiving from studios, which had begun arriving via regular mail instead of email. Staff had rapidly become overwhelmed: "For the first few days UPS turned up with a couple of small boxes of notices, but it was soon several crates a day stacking several feet deep."
Over the years, EZTV has participated in several partnerships.
EZTV and VTV
Initially, EZTV and fellow TV torrent distribution group VTV acted as competition across the board but with different approaches. Over time, however, it has become clear that the two groups cooperate in some ways since VTV distributes releases that EZTV does not do via EZTV's IRC channel and website.
EZTV and MVGroup
In summer of 2008, EZTV and the documentary torrent distribution group MVGroup initiated a partnership that saw MVG's torrents distributed by EZTV on their IRC channel and website. The agreement benefited both sides, as MVG gained increased exposure and a vastly improved seeder base while EZTV expanded the list of shows available through them.
In a statement to TorrentFreak, MVGroup admins said they "would like to take this opportunity to thank EZTV in helping us continue our founder's legacy, to spread high quality educational material via p2p, to everyone, for free (...)".
One month prior to this announcement, MVG's founder Merrin had died after prolonged illness.
EZTV and VODO
The Creative Commons media distributor VODO has for a long time held a prominent position on the EZTV site. EZTV was one of the first torrent groups to offer VODO exposure to their audience, along with The Pirate Bay, Mininova, isoHunt and others.
EZTV and its RSS website ezRSS are currently blocked by multiple ISPs in Italy and in the UK at request from MPA and FACT. EZTV is also blocked in Singapore since 27 October 2014, according to the Copyright Act.
- "Eztv.it Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01.
- "MPAA sues TV torrent sites". Piracyisnotacrime.com. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- "tvtorrents is down for good". Digg. April 22, 2005. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- "EZTV Now Accessible Under New Domain Names". TorrentFreak. October 28, 2007. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- "EZTV Goes Down Again". TorrentFreak. April 21, 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- "EZTV down for 14 hours". Retrieved 2014-07-14.
- "Lost: eztv's april fool's joke". TV.com. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- "Lost 4x09? No. It's April Fool's". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- "EZSPORTS – Neowin Forums". Neowin.net. April 1, 2009. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- EZTV.it. "Real Media? click here!". EZTV.it. Retrieved 2012-04-04.
- "EZTV and MVGroup Join Forces". TorrentFreak. June 5, 2008. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- "BitTorrent Community Mourns as Tracker Founder Passes Away". TorrentFreak. May 13, 2008. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Doctorow, Cory (October 15, 2009). "Vodo: a filesharing service for film-makers". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2012-03-16.
- Movie Studios Win ISP Blockade Against EZTV and YIFY-Torrents
- EZTV Blocked by Court Order - Help & Support Forum
- UK Internet Providers Start Blocking EZTV and ezRSS